Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers charged by FA for comments

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been charged over post-match comments he made following his side's defeat at Manchester City on 26 December.

Rodgers criticised the "horrendous" performance of the match officials and questioned the appointment of Bolton referee Lee Mason after the 2-1 loss.

He said: "Hopefully we won't have a Greater Manchester referee with Liverpool-Manchester games in future."

Rodgers has until 1800 GMT on 8 January 2014 to respond to the charge.

The Football Association said:  "It is alleged the comments by Rodgers called into question the integrity of the match referee, and/or implied that the match referee was motivated by bias; and/or brought the game into disrepute; and/or amounted to a failure to act in the best interests of the game."

Rodgers was particularly infuriated by a decision against Raheem Sterling, who put the ball in the net after being incorrectly flagged offside when the game was still goalless.

The Northern Irishman also claimed Luis Suarez had his shirt pulled by Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott inside the home penalty area in the late stages.

Liverpool were top of the Premier League at the start of Boxing Day, but dropped to fourth after City's comeback victory at the Etihad Stadium.

The day after the game Rodgers insisted he was trying to make a valid point and did not intend to slight Mason. 

"In terms of geography, I certainly wasn't questioning the integrity of referees," he said. "It was more than logical (as a comment) in terms of having a referee from that part of the world refereeing a game in Manchester.

"I wouldn't suspect that Mike Dean, from the Wirral, has refereed many games for Liverpool over the years.

"I was only speaking honestly after the game. I think the FA and the Referees' Association know perfectly well I am someone who engages in supporting the referees."